Date of Graduation

Spring 2018

Document Type

Honors Research Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Research Sponsor

George Chase

First Reader

Paul Schreuders

Second Reader

Edward Evans


This project developed correlations between electrospun polyvinylpyrrolidone fiber mat thickness, basis weight, fiber diameter, pore size, and air permeability. The hypotheses were thinner fibers produce thicker mats, pore size decreases with fiber diameter, pore size and permeability decrease as basis weight increases. Project results could be used for modeling or quality control purposes.

Fiber diameter distributions were analyzed using a Scanning Electron Microscope and FibraQuant 1.3 software. Four conditions were chosen for further study: 0.284 ± 0.104 µm, 0.379 ± 0.128 µm, 0.520 ± 0.138 µm, and 0.733 ± 0.177 µm. Lower PVP concentrations produced thinner fibers.

Sample thickness (nm) was measured then plotted versus basis weight (g/m2). The thinnest diameter fiber produced the thickest mat, due to increased numbers of fibers in the sample area. The pore size distribution and permeability of 0.520 µm diameter fiber samples were measured. Pore diameter (µm) was plotted versus basis weight. Average pore size was larger at low basis weights, decreasing as basis weight increased, due to fiber layers achieving constant compression. Average pore size remained constant after approximately 12.0 g/m2. Permeability (Darcy) was plotted versus pressure drop (PSI). Permeability decreased as pressure drop increased, with no trend between permeability and basis weight.